St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
"Making friends while serving God"
The Week of April 26 - May 2, 2021
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, to make it bear even more” (John 15:1–2).These words open a new perspective on suffering for me. Pruning helps trees to bear more fruit. Even when I bear fruit, even when I do things for God’s kingdom, even when people express gratitude for coming to know Jesus through me, I need a lot more pruning. Many unnecessary branches and twigs prevent the vine from bearing all the fruit it can. They have to be clipped off. This is a painful process, all the more so because I do not know that they are unnecessary. They often seem beautiful, charming, and very alive. But they need to be cut away so that more fruit can grow.
It helps me to think about painful rejections, moments of loneliness, feelings of inner darkness and despair, and lack of support and human affection as God’s pruning. I am aware that I might have settled too soon for the few fruits that I can recognize in my life. I might say, “Well, I am doing some good here and there, and I should be grateful for and content with the little good I do.” But that might be false modesty and even a form of spiritual laziness. God calls me to more. God wants to prune me. A pruned vine does not look beautiful, but during harvest time it produces much fruit. The great challenge is to continue to recognize God’s pruning hand in my life. Then I can avoid resentment and depression and become even more grateful that I am called upon to bear even more fruit than I thought I could. Suffering then becomes a way of purification and allows me to rejoice in its fruits with deep gratitude and without pride.
--Shawn Prater-Lee

To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 
Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:24-30; 1 John 4:7-21;
  John 15:1-8

The Sunday Sermon

John 10:11-18
There are one hundred and fifty psalms in that section of the Old Testament called the Book of Psalms. But if we were asked to quickly name the psalm that first comes to our mind, most of us would name the psalm we heard chanted a few minutes ago, the twenty-third psalm, the one that begins, “The Lord is my shepherd…” There is something about the image of a shepherd that captures our imagination. Throughout the history of the Church, we have made good use of the image of the shepherd. For example, the word “pastor,” comes from the Greek word that means “shepherd.” And we all know that a pastor is the person who shepherds the people of a church. And a bishop is the chief shepherd of a diocese. I bring up the order of bishops, because I’m sure you have noticed that a bishop carries a shepherd’s staff during the Church’s liturgies. That staff is a symbol of the chief shepherd’s office. Like so many other things in Christianity, the bishop’s staff, also called a crosier, has become more ornate through the centuries. They may now be made of metal and many of them are heavily jeweled.
One of the many things I appreciated about the late Bishop Moore was that he insisted upon using an ordinary wooden staff that looked very much like the staff used by middle eastern shepherds who, through the centuries, have used their staffs to tend to their sheep. If a sheep strayed away from the flock, the shepherd would extend the hook end of his staff and pull the sheep back into place. When I was chaplain at Greer School, there were many times that I saw the late Bishop Moore during his visitation for Confirmation demonstrate the way the staff was used by a shepherd. He would reach out and gently hook one of the children in the congregation; and this was met with much laughter.
We encounter the image of the shepherd in this morning’s gospel. Jesus is being described as the Good Shepherd. The gospel also mentions a fold. I want to talk a little bit about that word. During the days of Jesus’ ministry, the shepherds did not have barns to bring the sheep to at night, after a day of grazing. Instead, shepherds would gather their sheep into sheepfolds. A sheepfold was a very simple enclosure that was made by stacking rocks and forming a kind of a pen in which the sheep could be gathered together for the night. To make sure the sheep were protected, to make sure that no one, or no animal could get into the fold to harm the sheep, it was customary for a good shepherd, to lay down across the entrance to the sheepfold and remain there protecting the sheep at all costs through the night. So, in this morning’s gospel, when we find Jesus being described as the Good Shepherd, we get a clearer understanding of what he meant when he said that he would “lay down his life for the sheep.”
But permit me to share with you what I think is another interesting point. It was often the case that more than one shepherd had his flock of sheep grazing on the same hillside. So, at the end of the day, it was common, it was practical, for two or more shepherds to move their sheep into the same sheepfold as night began to fall. But we might wonder how they would know in the morning which sheep belonged to which shepherd. Well, there was a simple solution to that dilemma. The shepherds named their sheep, and talked to them during the day, much the same way we might talk to a pet dog or cat. So, after a while, the sheep would get used to the sound of their shepherd’s voice. In the morning, each shepherd would simply stand at the entrance of the sheepfold and call out to his sheep, and they would respond to his voice alone and follow him.
So, it is in our relationship with Christ. As we truly belong to him, we recognize his voice as he calls us to various forms of responsible ministry within our family, within the workplace, within our community, within our parish church, and within ordained ministry. His voice, his call is quite distinguishable, and also quite tenacious.
But I must remind you that there are bad shepherds. When I think back to the days of slavery, clearly, I think of the slave owners as bad shepherds who had imprisoned human beings in the folds of slavery. But above and beyond the voices of the plantation owners, in many cases the voice of the Good Shepherd called out to the slaves. I give you the example of Harriet Tubman. She was born a slave in the year 1820, on a plantation in Maryland. When she was very young, accidentally, she was struck in the head by a heavy object. From that point on Harriet, a devout Christian, felt that she was experiencing visions; she believed that she was being called by Christ Jesus, that she was being called by the Good Shepherd to escape from the treacherous institution of slavery; and so, she did, and traveled 90 miles from that Maryland plantation to freedom in Pennsylvania in September 1849. She found a job as a housekeeper in Philadelphia, but the Good Shepherd was not done with his call to her. The visions continued and this barely five-foot-tall woman went South again and with the help of the Underground Railroad, brought many of her relatives to freedom. Being obedient to the Good Shepherds call, she took the dangerous journey south several more times. The calls continued and Harriet, who was often called the “Black Moses,” for a time escorted runaway slaves to the safety of the Canadian border, and even worked as a scout for the Union Army. It is said that she brought some three hundred slaves out of the masters’ folds to freedom in what must have felt like the Promised Land.
I believe that all of us hear the voice of Jesus calling us. Each of us is called to take on a certain ministry. The wonderful thing that we must remember is that through the tasks that Jesus would have each and every one of us take on; the Kingdom of God comes closer, and closer to realization here on earth as it is in heaven. How well do we listen? How much are we distracted?

--Fr. C. Allan Ford

After having done Zoom church for almost four months we will resume in person worship on the first and third Sundays of the month starting with a 10:00 am service this Sunday. All other Sundays of the month will be on Zoom format for now.

We will have a single service on Sundays with no midweek healing service. All congregants will be required to wear masks. Pews will be marked off to easily facilitate social distancing between family groups. All music will be instrumental with no singing. The Peace will be a non contact event. We will not be observing communion. There will be no coffee hour.

Bathrooms will be open, but please use a paper towel to touch all common surfaces: doors and sink handles.

There are other tweaks that will be made to facilitate the reopening of the Church. Please know that these changes will be as small as possible and are done with the health and safety of our church family as top priority.

Please bring your mask and your patience to 161 Mansion Street on Sunday as we again get to worship together in the church. Thanks be to God.
--Shawn Prater-Lee
Our FIRST FUNDRAISING EVENT in more than a year.

It will include:

  • Limited Rummage Sale
  • Refreshments sold
  • Raffle
  • Penny Social

When:  Saturday, June 19 (Rain Date – June 26) from 10:00 – 3:00

Where: The Hamilton Street lawn

PLEASE EVERYONE – think about how you can help out – we need volunteers for this event to make it successful – plus it would be GREAT for us all to see each other.

Thoughts, Questions – Speak to a Stewardship Committee person:
Janet Quade, Cynthia Benjamin, Rose Marie Proctor, Aleen Josephs-Clarke, Norma Williams, Daphne Barrett, Debbie Pitchers, or Bobbie Gordon

--Bobbie Gordon


We're going to again follow the in church services at 10:00am on the first and third Sundays, all other Sundays on Zoom format for now.
Our Zoom connections remain the same and are
Meeting ID: 823 3911 5280
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,82339115280# US (New York)
+13017158592,,82339115280# US (Germantown)
Dial by your location
      +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
We now have a YouTube channel. 
or search on YouTube for St. Paul's Poughkeepsie.
We hope to put copies of all of our online services there.


Hello Family,

Do you know of anyone who may be facing eviction and needs rent assistance?

Please see the flier below for help or send it to individuals that you are aware of that need the help.


Please use the link below to look up and schedule appointments for vaccines, at all available sites in the area.

--Aleen Josephs Clarke
_2 Jerry Bissessar 
_3 Adam Bissessar      
_6 Angelina Bissessar    
_ Joyce Herman
_7 Kira Curtis
13 Brianna Bryant
Hannah Crist Cardoso-Saavedra
14 Mahalia Samuels 
19 Donna Robinson Zajkowski 
20 Earl Boyer
21 Madison Goldson
23 Alice Darien
Adam Mazzuto
25 Jahman Birks
29 Peter Grace
30 E. James Schneider
Michael Curtis
Please keep those on our parish prayer list in your minds and in your prayers, especially at this time of separation and isolation.

APRIL 2021
Our prayers are asked for:
Sandra; George, Norm; Fr. Tyler & Molly; Janett; Kay, Katherine, Renate; Frank Burnett, Food Pantry Volunteers, victims of Human/Sex Trafficking; Burton family; Lillian, Matthew, Sasha; Paul & Donna, Margaret, Joe, G.J., Aleta, Plain family, Melius family; Ibadan Diocese, All Saints' Church, Oni family; Gary, Legend; Rhonda, Joe, Ann, all Teachers, Parents, Students, Theodore, John, Paul, Kathy; Sharon Greene, Owen, Agnes, Norma; McLauren family; Graham family; Wood family; Braxton family; Lori, Steven, Jim, Seth; Phil; All essential workers; Beryl & Glen, Vincent family; George; Daniel Mizell and family; Liz, Martha; Eileen; the Butler, Richards and Barrett families; Fr. Allan and family; St. Paul's Vestry; Darien family; Richardson family; Sherow family; Edna Clarke, Michelle, Kathy B.; Carola and Violet; Whitman, Medical Reserve Corp. of Dutchess County, The Laken family; All Parishioners; Kairos International, Catherine, Michelle, Yamily; Matthew, Lillian; Lynita, Perry, Melius family, Sasha; Stacey, Linda, Phil, Jody; Tucker family, Branch family, Atkinson family; Alison, McGhan, Sterling, Unah, Avonel, Kim, Santos family, Madeline, Bramble, Charlie, Cynthia, Gencia, Val, Joanne, Janet, Corkey, Pelaez, Josephs-Clarke family, Dixon family, Paulette, Jarah, Mertlyn; Adam, Paul, Andrew & family, Douglas family, Ron, Dave, Liz; Jill, Lana, Andrew, Susan; Schneider family, all in need; Susie; Sherry, Claudia
Please "Like" our page to stay up to date with all services and events.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'
Our food pantry volunteers are in active service at St. Paul's these days. We give thanks to them and thanks to God for their willingness to help us by helping others.
April 26-May 2, 2021

TUE____ 27

WED ___ 28


SAT ____ 1

SUN ____ 2




Evening Prayer; Vestry

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Building and Grounds

Zoom - Rite II, Ante Communion
Help us get the word out by submitting news of parish activities. Send submittals to or call 845 452 8440
Give us a call today!

St. Paul's Episcopal Church 161 Mansion Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601